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Inspection Details - Home Boarding Dogs

Part A - General Conditions

1.0Licence Display

The licence must be displayed in a public-facing area of the premises such as the entrance or reception area.

A copy of the licence must also be taken to exhibits when these are held at other locations.

1.1A copy of the licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any premises used for the licensable activity.
1.2The name of the licence holder followed by the number of the licence holder's licence must be clearly and prominently displayed on any website used in respect of the licensable activity.
2.0RecordsElectronic records must be backed up
2.1The licence holder must ensure that at any time all the records that the licence holder is required to keep as a condition of the licence are available for inspection by an inspector in a visible and legible form or, where any such records are stored in electronic form, in a form from which they can readily be produced in a visible and legible form.
2.2The licence holder must keep all such records for at least three years beginning with the date on which the record was created.
3.0Use, number and type of animal
3.1No animals or types of animal other than those animals and types of animal specified in the licence may be used in relation to the relevant licensable activity.

This licence applies only to the home boarding of dogs. However, if there are welfare concerns relating to other animals then the inspector should inform either the relevant person in the Local Authority, the Police or suitable animal welfare organisation as appropriate.


The number of animals kept for the activity at any time must not exceed the maximum that is reasonable taking into account the facilities and staffing on any premises used for the licensable activity. The following are NOT acceptable rooms or spaces:

  • A conservatory 
  • A bathroom / lavatory
  • Hallway
  • Garage (unless converted to current standards for human habitation)
  • Cupboard
  • Cellar (unless converted to current standards for human habitation)
  • Loft (unless converted to current standards for human habitation)
  • Balcony
  • An outside building, structure or shed

The licence conditions must clearly state the numbers of dogs permitted at the premises. Undeclared breach of this number can invalidate the licence, especially if not reflected in increased staffing levels.

Each dog or dogs from the same family unit must have access to a room to itself, where it can sleep, go to hide, and be kept separate from other dogs, particularly if the proprietor is absent.

Rooms must be of sufficient height for a human adult to stand in.

This figure must include any dogs kept permanently on the home boarder's premises.

*Hallways and bathrooms can be used as designated rooms as long as the other conditions in this guidance can be met, for example, in relation to space allowances, temperature and ventilation.


Sufficient numbers of people competent for the purpose must be available to provide a level of care that ensures that the welfare needs of all the animals are met.

At the minimum there must be provision for a competent person to assist with care and supervision if the licence holder is absent for an extended period.

4.2The licence holder or a designated manager and any staff employed to care for the animals must have competence to identify the normal behaviour of the species for which they are caring and to recognise signs of, and take appropriate measures to mitigate or prevent, pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour.

Suitable and sufficient training of people responsible for the care of the animals must be demonstrated to have been carried out in the following areas:

  • Dog welfare, including recognising poor welfare and understanding the 5 welfare needs;
  • Dog handling;
  • Dog behaviour;
  • Disease control;
  • Cleanliness and hygiene;
  • Feeding and food preparation;
  • Recognition and first aid treatment of sick animals.

Training must be a minimum of an OFQUAL regulated level 2 qualification in a relevant subject, or clear evidence of knowledge and experience.

Higher StandardA person responsible for the care of the dogs with a relevant OFQUAL regulated Level 3 qualification must be present during the working day.


The licence holder must provide and ensure the implementation of a written training policy for all staff.

It will be applicable to any members of staff and can be shown by engagement with courses, written or online learning, keeping up-to-date with any research or developments for specific species and the documentation of the annual appraisal.

The training policy must be reviewed and updated on an annual basis and must include:

  • annual appraisal;
  • planned continued professional development;
  • recognition of knowledge gaps;
  • Use of online courses and literature; 

If no staff are employed the licence holder must demonstrate their own knowledge development.

Evidence of staff attendance or completion of the training must be provided

5.0Suitable Environment

All areas, equipment and appliances to which the animals have access must present minimal risks of injury, illness and escape. They must be constructed in materials that are robust, safe and durable, in a good state of repair and well maintained.

Any drain covers in areas where dogs have access must be secure and designed and located to prevent toes/claws from being caught.

No standing water from cleaning or urine is acceptable. Drainage must be permanently unblocked, with liquids able to run off into drains immediately.

All outdoor fencing must be strong and rigid and kept in good repair to provide an escape and dig proof structure. Where dogs have access to mesh, the diameter of the wire must not be less than 2.0 mm (British Standard 14 gauge welded mesh). Mesh size must not exceed 50 mm in any direction.

Timber, if used, must be of good quality, well maintained and any damaged areas sealed or over-clad. Wood must be smooth and treated to render it impervious.

All interior surfaces to which dogs have access must be maintained in good order and repair. Wherever possible, interior surfaces must be smooth, impervious and able to be cleaned. They must be kept suitably clean. Floors must be non-hazardous for dogs to walk on, in particular to avoid slipping.

Any electrical sockets and appliances in the dog designated rooms and where the dogs have access to must be secure and protected against damage

The home must be well maintained and in good repair. There must not be any sharp edges, projections, rough edges or other hazards, such as chemicals and loose cables, which may present risk of injury to a dog.

Doors and windows to the outside must be escape proof, securable, strong enough to resist impact and scratching, and to prevent injury. External doors/gates must be lockable. Those involved in the care of the dogs must have easy access to keys and/or any key code in case of emergency.

Each designated room must have a securable, full height door for access and security. Internal doors should open inwards in order to protect the health and safety of attending people and reduce the risk of escape. Where this is not feasible there must be a procedure in place to demonstrate safety. Where appropriate, doors to designated rooms must be kept shut at night. Each designated dog room must have a secure latch or other secure closing device.


Animals must be kept at all times in an environment suitable to their species and condition (including health status and age) with respect to 

(a) their behavioural needs,

(b) its situation, space, air quality, cleanliness and temperature

(c) the water quality (where relevant),

(d) noise levels

(e) light levels

(f) ventilation.

Dogs must not be restricted to areas when climatic conditions may cause them distress. Temperature regulation must aim to keep the ambient temperature above an absolute minimum of 10 °C and below a maximum of 26 °C.

Dogs must not be exposed to draughts.

Dogs must be monitored to check if they are too hot or too cold. If an individual dog is showing signs of heat or cold intolerance steps must be taken to ensure the welfare of the dog. A dog must be able to remove itself from a direct source of heat.

Ventilation must be provided to all interior areas to avoid excess humidity

Heaters must not be sited in a manner or location where they present a risk of burning or electric shock / electrocution to dogs or humans, or a risk of fire. Open fires/wood burners must have adequate protection/guards in place.

Excessive noise must be avoided


Staff must ensure that the animals are kept clean and comfortable.

The licence holder and staff should ensure that dogs benefit from adequate routine grooming and other health regimes as needed and agreed with the owner e.g. cleaning of eyes or keeping long fur from matting. This should include attention to coat, teeth, ears and nails and inspection for parasites.

5.4Where appropriate for the species, a toileting area and opportunities for toileting must be provided.

Dogs must have regular opportunities throughout the day for toileting in the secure area and / or during exercise, taking into account individual needs. They must have at least 4 opportunities per day

5.5Procedures must be in place to ensure accommodation and any equipment within it is cleaned as often as necessary and good hygiene standards are maintained. The accommodation must be capable of being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Designated rooms must be inspected daily and kept in a clean condition, in accordance with the documented cleaning and disinfection procedure. Dogs must be removed from their designated room while it is being cleaned.


The animals must be transported and handled in a manner (including for example in relation to housing, temperature, ventilation and frequency) that protects them from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

Transport must be in accordance with existing legal requirements.

Dogs must be suitably restrained using a dog crate, dog guard or transport harness. Dog crates must be of adequate size, designed to provide good ventilation and firmly secured, out of direct sunlight and away from heating vents.

Vehicles must be regularly cleaned and disinfected.

Leaving dogs in vehicles must be minimalised and dogs must never be left unattended in a car or other vehicle where the temperature may pose a risk to the animal.

If transporting dogs by road, sufficient breaks must be offered for water and the chance to go to the toilet.

5.7All the animals must be easily accessible to staff and for inspection. There must be sufficient light for the staff to work effectively and observe the animals.

Where practicable this must be natural light, but artificial light must be available. Where artificial lighting is used, this must be within a range of 10 to 12 hours daily.

Lights must be turned off to provide a period of darkness overnight


All resources must be provided in a way (for example as regards. frequency, location and access points) that minimises competitive behaviour or the dominance of individual animals.

here must be multiples of all resources (food, water bowls and sleeping areas), equal or greater than the number of dogs in any communal area.

Dogs must be carefully monitored, especially at feeding times.


The animals must not be left unattended in any situation or for any period likely to cause them distress.

Dogs must have human company. Dogs must not be routinely left alone for more than 3 hours in a 24-hour period, or shorter intervals as necessary for the individual health, safety and welfare of an individual dog.

Higher StandardThere must be a designated other person or member of staff who can cover any emergency or absence of leave so that the dogs are never left alone.
6.0Suitable Diet 

The animals must be provided with a suitable diet in terms of quality, quantity and frequency. Any new feeds must be introduced gradually to allow the animals to adjust to them.


Adult dogs must be fed at least once per day and in accordance with the individual dog's needs.

The diet must be agreed with the dog's owner.

Dogs must be separated for feeding unless written consent from owners has been received permitting otherwise.


Feed and (where appropriate) water intake must be monitored, and any problems recorded and addressed.

Dogs must be monitored if they remain inappetent (without appetite) for longer than 48 hours and if there are concerns, veterinary advice must be sought.

The general condition of all long stay dogs must be monitored and dogs displaying significant weight loss/gain must be evaluated by a veterinarian and treated as necessary.

Veterinary advice must be followed if feeding debilitated, underweight or ill dogs, or those with specific dietary requirements.


Feed and drinking water provided to the animals must be unspoilt and free from contamination.

Dry food must not be left out for more than 24 hours. When wet feed is fed it must be removed before the next feeding time.

Refrigeration facilities for feed storage must be provided. Feed must be stored away from risk of vermin and in appropriately cool and dry places.

6.4Feed and drinking receptacles must be capable of being cleaned and disinfected, or disposable.

Receptacles must be non-porous.

Receptacles must be cleaned daily and disinfected at least once a week. If damaged they must be disposed of.


Constant access to fresh, clean drinking water must be provided in a suitable receptacle for the species that requires it.

Fresh water must be provided daily in a clean receptacle and changed or refreshed as often as necessary.

Fresh water must be available at all times in each designated room


Where feed is prepared on the premises, there must be hygienic facilities for its preparation, including a working surface, hot and cold running water and storage.

In establishments where staff are employed a separate hand wash basin with an adequate supply of hot and cold water must be provided for them to wash their hands. This must be connected to a suitable drainage system.

Soap and hygienic hand drying facilities must also be available.

7.0Monitoring of behaviour and training of animals

Active and effective environmental enrichment must be provided to the animals in inside and any outside environments.

As appropriate to the species, enrichment devices must be changed on a regular basis to introduce novelty and maintain interest. When adding new enrichment devices, staff must ensure that the animal is closely monitored for signs of distress.

A programme must be agreed with the owner of each dog setting out enrichment both inside and outside including, grooming, socialisation and play. All dogs must receive appropriate toys and / or feeding enrichment such as scatter feeders unless veterinary advice suggests otherwise.

Owner's written consent must be obtained.

Potential competition between dogs must be avoided when feeding enrichment takes place and use of items should be monitored.

Items must be checked daily to ensure they remain safe. Damaged items should be removed from use


For species whose welfare depends partly on exercise, opportunities to exercise which benefit the animals' physical and mental health must be provided, unless advice from a veterinarian suggests otherwise.

Dogs which cannot be exercised must be provided with alternative forms of mental stimulation

Outdoor areas must not be used by more than one dog at any one time unless they are from the same household or prior written consent has been obtained from owners.

The outdoor area must be cleared of all potential hazards after each use. Excrement must be picked up between dogs/occupancy and at least daily.

Where artificial turf is used, it must be maintained in good repair to avoid ingestion hazards.

Opportunities to exercise must involve at least one walk per day. Consideration must be given to life stage, physical and mental health and breed when planning daily exercise.

No more than 4 dogs per person can be walked at one time and owner's consent is needed to walk with other dogs. Dogs must be familiarised with each other beforehand.

Dogs must be prevented from having unsupervised access to ponds, pools, wells and any other garden feature that might pose a threat.

Dogs must not have direct access to bins. The outdoor/garden area of the premises and any other area to which the boarded dogs may have access, must be secure and safe.

Higher StandardThere must be a clear plan setting out two walks per dog each day for a minimum of 20 minutes each. There must be an alternative form of enrichment planned for dogs which cannot be exercised for veterinary reasons for the same periods of time. Any outside space will have two secure physical barriers between any dog and any entrance/exit.

The animals' behaviour and any changes of behaviour must be monitored. Advice must be sought, as appropriate and without delay, from a veterinarian if adverse or abnormal behaviour is detected.

The behaviour of individual dogs must be monitored daily and changes in behaviour and/or behaviours indicative of suffering, stress, fear, aggression and anxiety must be recorded and acted upon. Records of assessment must be kept.

Dogs likely to, or showing, signs of being nervous or stressed must be located in a suitable part of the house, bearing in mind their individual disposition. This could include: elderly dogs; nervous dogs; dogs on some medications. Where a dog is showing signs of being nervous, stressed or fearful, steps must be taken to address this.

7.4Where used, training methods or equipment must not cause pain, suffering or injury.Training must be based on the principles of positive reinforcement (i.e. reward desired behaviour and ignore unwanted behaviour).

All immature animals must be given suitable and adequate opportunities to:

  • learn how to interact with people, their own species and other animals where such interaction benefits their welfare, and;
  • become habituated to noises, objects and activities in their environment.

Documented processes must be in place to accommodate the needs of dogs under one year of age.

8.0Animal Handling and Interactions
8.1All people responsible for the care of the animals must be competent in the appropriate handling of each animal to protect it from pain, suffering, injury or disease.

Dogs must always be handled humanely and appropriately to suit the requirements of the individual dog and to minimise fear, stress, pain and distress. Dogs must never be punished so that they are frightened or exhibit aversive behaviour.

Those involved in home boarding, including all family members over the age of 16, must have the competence to handle dogs correctly and be able to identify dogs that are anxious or fearful about contact. They must also have the ability to recognise and act upon undesirable behaviours.


The animals must be kept separately or in suitable compatible social groups appropriate to the species and individual animals. No animals from a social species may be isolated or separated from others of their species for any longer than is necessary.

It is not recommended that cats are resident on the premises if dogs are being home boarded. If there are resident cats, the licence holder must identify potential stressors to the cat/s and demonstrate how these would be mitigated in order to protect the cats' welfare.

A policy must be in place for monitoring new dogs coming into a home boarding environment.

It must be possible for all newly introduced dogs to be kept away from other dogs if required and it must be demonstrated as to how this is achieved.

Small pets must be accommodated separately from boarding dogs e.g. in an area/room which the dog cannot access.

Animals kept in the garden or outdoor exercise area (e.g. rabbits and guinea pigs) must be able to be kept separate and away from boarding dogs.

The licence holder must demonstrate that the welfare needs of the small pets are being met.

8.3The animals must have at least daily opportunities to interact with people where such interaction benefits their welfare.Animals must never be forced to interact with people, and must have a facility to avoid people, i.e. have access to a hiding place.
9.0Protection from Pain, Suffering, Injury and Disease 

Written procedures must:

  • (a) be in place and implemented covering:
    • i. feeding regimes,
    • ii. cleaning regimes,
    • iii. transportation
    • iv. the prevention of, and control of the spread of, disease,
    • v. monitoring and ensuring the health and welfare of all the animals,
    • vi. the death or escape of an animal (including the storage of dead animals);
  • (b) be in place covering the care of the animals following the suspension or revocation of the licence or during and following an emergency.

The procedures must demonstrate how the conditions outlined in this guidance are met.

9.2All people responsible for the care of the animals must be made fully aware of these procedures. 

Appropriate isolation, in separate self-contained facilities, must be available for the care of sick, injured or potentially infectious animals.

Where isolation facilities are provided by the attending veterinary practice, a letter must be provided by the practice stating that they are prepared to provide such facilities. If not the stated isolation protocols must be followed

Provision must be made for the isolation of sick/injured/infectious animals and those that might reasonably be expected to be carrying serious infectious diseases.

Dogs showing signs of infectious disease must not be allowed in any shared outside exercise area.

Protective clothing and footwear must be worn when handling dogs in the isolation facility, and sanitation protocols adhered to. Whilst in use, the clothing must be kept in the isolation unit and not be removed other than for cleaning and disinfection. Any dogs in the isolation facility must be checked regularly and unless a separate person is caring for them, they must be visited after the other dogs.

Separate feeding and water bowls, bedding and cleaning utensils must be stored in the isolation unit ready for immediate use.


All reasonable precautions must be taken to prevent and control the spread among the animals and people of infectious diseases, pathogens and parasites.

An up-to-date veterinary vaccination record must be seen to ensure that dogs have current vaccinations against canine parvovirus, canine distemper, canine adenovirus/infectious canine hepatitis, leptospirosis and other relevant diseases. Vaccination against other diseases such as kennel cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica/ Canine parainfluenza virus) may be required by the establishment

Certification from a veterinarian of a recent protective titre test may be accepted instead of a booster vaccination as required by the establishment. The certificate must state that it is valid for the current period of boarding. It is the decision of the home boarder whether to accept such a certificate.

Primary vaccination courses must be completed at least 2 weeks before boarding.

Vaccines used must be licensed for use in the UK. Homoeopathic vaccination is not acceptable

Dogs must have been appropriately treated for external and internal parasites in accordance with veterinary advice before entry to the home boarding environment. If there is evidence of external parasites (fleas, ticks, lice) the dog must be treated with an appropriate product authorised by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and licensed for use on animals in the UK. Treatment must be discussed with a veterinarian before administering. Consent from the owner is required.

9.5All excreta and soiled bedding for disposal must be stored and disposed of in a hygienic manner and in accordance with any relevant legislation.

This must be in a clearly-marked bin which is emptied either daily or when full, whichever is the sooner. Excreta and soiled bedding must be removed in accordance with the documented cleaning and disinfection procedure.

Storage of excreta must be away from areas where animals or food is kept.

9.6Sick or injured animals must receive prompt attention from a veterinarian. 
9.7Where necessary, animals must receive preventative treatment by an appropriately competent person.Any preventive treatment must be with consent from the owner and under the direction of a veterinarian.
9.8The licence holder must register with a veterinarian with an appropriate level of experience in the health and welfare requirements of any animals specified in the licence and the contact details of that veterinarian must be readily available to all staff on the premises used for the licensable activity.

The name, address and telephone contact number of the veterinary practice used by the establishment must be accessible to all members of staff. The veterinary practice must be within a reasonable travel distance and out of hours arrangements must be known.

Agreement must be made and documented between the dog owner and licence holder regarding which veterinarian is to be used.

9.9Prescribed medicines must be stored safely and securely to safeguard against unauthorised access, at the correct temperature, and used in accordance with the instructions of the veterinarian.

All courses must be completed to the specifications given by the veterinarian.

Any unused medications must be returned to the owner, nominated contact or prescribing vet.

A fridge must be available to store medicines which require being kept at certain low temperatures

9.10Medicines other than prescribed medicines must be stored, used and disposed of in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer or veterinarian. 

Cleaning products must be suitable, safe and effective against pathogens that pose a risk to the animals. They must be used, stored and disposed of in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and used in a way which prevents distress or suffering of the animals.

Staff using cleaning products must be competent in the safe use of detergents and fluids. Cleaning products must be kept entirely out of the reach of animals, and must never be left in designated rooms or where dogs might access them.

Standing water must not be allowed to accumulate due to the possibility of pathogens residing in these moist environments.

Toys must be cleaned and disinfected between use by different dogs, disposed of, or returned to the dog's owner (if they came in with the dog).

The choice of cleaning and disinfectant products must be based on suitability, safety, compatibility and effectiveness. Disinfectant products must be viricidal as well as bactericidal.

Cleaning and disinfection products must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

Grooming equipment must be kept clean and in a good state of repair. If provided by the owner, it must only be used on that dog and must be sent home with the dog.


No person may euthanise an animal except a veterinarian or a person who has been authorised by a veterinarian as competent for such purpose or

  1. in the case of fish, a person who is competent for such purpose;
  2. in the case of horses, a person who is competent, and who holds a licence or certificate, for such purpose.
  3. a person who has been authorised by a veterinarian as competent for such purpose

A dog may only be euthanised by a veterinarian.

Euthanasia must be humane and effective.

The licence holder must keep a record of all euthanasia and the identity of the qualified veterinarian that carried it out.

The owner or designated main point of contact must be contacted to give consent. Unless imperative for the welfare of the dog, euthanasia must not take place until consent is given.

9.13All animals must be checked at least once daily or more regularly as necessary to check for any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour. Vulnerable animals must be checked more frequently. Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a veterinarian must be sought and followed.

Presence or absence of excrement and urine must be monitored daily. Any abnormalities must be recorded and acted upon as appropriate.

9.14Any signs of pain, suffering, injury, disease or abnormal behaviour must be recorded and the advice and further advice (if necessary) of a veterinarian must be sought and followed.



A written emergency plan, acceptable to the local authority, must be in place, known and available to all the people on the premises used for the licensable activity, and followed where necessary to ensure appropriate steps are taken to protect all the people and animals on the premises in case of fire or in case of breakdowns for essential heating, ventilation and aeration or filtration systems or other emergencies.

All electrical installations must be maintained in a safe condition for health and safety of staff and animals. There must be an effective contingency plan for essential heating, ventilation and aeration/ filtration systems, as appropriate, if electricity failed.

All equipment must be maintained in a good state of repair and serviced according to manufacturer's guidelines.

Entrances and fire exits must be clear of obstructions at all times.

Suitable firefighting, prevention and detection equipment must be provided and maintained in good working order. As a minimum, the home must have at least one working smoke detector (or other suitable fire detection system) installed in a suitable location on each separate level / floor of the property. Where appropriate there must be a carbon monoxide detector.

There must be a plan for accommodation of the dogs should the premises become uninhabitable.

There must be a documented policy in place for dealing with emergencies, including extremes of temperature and weather conditions (both hot and cold).

10.2The plan must include details of the emergency measures to be taken for the extrication of the animals should the premises become uninhabitable and an emergency telephone list that includes the fire service and police. 
10.3External doors and gates must be lockable. 
10.4A designated keyholder with access to all animal areas must at all times be within reasonable travel distance of the premises and available to attend in an emergency.There must be a designated person available for emergencies. A reasonable distance would, in normal conditions, be interpreted as no more than 30 minutes travelling time.

Part B - Specific Conditions


Dogs must be accommodated within the home.

In a home environment, the accommodation provided covers two areas;

Indoor: There must be sufficient space available to provide an individual sleeping area for each dog with the ability to keep each dog in a physically separate room if required. This also allows each dog the choice of somewhere to go.

Outdoor: There must be direct access to a suitable and secure hazard free external area/garden. The area / garden must only be for use by the licence holder (not shared with other properties).

There must be no use of external construction of buildings, cages or runs for the home boarding of dogs. 

The home must include its own entrance i.e. no shared access such as communal stairs.


The home must include:

  • a) direct access to a private, non-communal, secure and hazard-free external area, and
  • b) a secure physical barrier(s) between any dog and any entrance to or exit from it.
The private, non-communal space can include a balcony or patio
2.0Suitable Environment
2.1Dogs from different households may only be boarded at the same time with the written consent of every owner.There must be a mandatory (documented) trial familiarisation session for all dogs prior to stay. This also includes familiarisation with resident dogs.
2.2Each dog must be provided with its own designated room, where it can be kept separate from other dogs.Once dogs are familiarised with each other they may want to be together and should not be shut in their own room alone. Dogs from the same household can be kept together with written consent from the owner

Each dog must have a clean, comfortable and warm area within its designated room where it can rest and sleep.

Unless instructed otherwise by the dog's owner, soft bedding materials must be provided and adapted if necessary for old, young or infirm dogs to help regulate their body temperature. If a dog chews or destroys its bedding, it must be replaced with an alternative.

Bedding must be made of a material that is easy to wash/disinfect, or is disposable. Bedding must be changed, cleaned and disinfected between dogs.

The sleeping area must provide a clean resting place for comfort and warmth and be situated out of draughts.

The sleeping accommodation floor area must allow the dog to be able to sit and stand at full height, stretch, wag its tail and to walk and turn around without touching the sides.

The available / clear floor area must be a minimum of twice that required for a dog to lay out flat. All beds and bedding areas must be kept clean, dry and parasite free.

2.4Each designated room must have a secure window to the outside that can be opened and closed as necessary.Window opening restriction devices must be used as necessary to prevent access/escape.
2.5A dog must not be confined in a crate for longer than three hours in any 24-hour period. 

A dog must not be kept in a crate unless:

  • a) it is already habituated to it,
  • b) a crate forms part of the normal routine for the dog;
  • c) the dog's owner has consented to the use of a crate.

The crate, of a suitable size and construction, must be provided by the owner.

Some adult dogs may choose to sleep in their crate during the day and overnight. The crate door must be left open to allow the dog to choose where it sleeps.

2.7Any crate in which a dog is kept must be in good condition and sufficiently large for the dog to sit and stand in it at full-height, lie flat and turn around. 
3.0Suitable Diet

Each dog must be fed separately in its designated room unless its owner has given written consent to the contrary.


4.0Monitoring of behaviour and training
4.1Any equipment that a dog is likely to be in contact with and any toy provided must not pose a risk of pain, suffering, disease or distress to the dog and must be correctly used.

Items such as leads must be removed when the dog is in the home environment.

Items specific to a particular dog must be identified and recorded as such.

Toys must be suitable for the dogs present, and checked regularly to ensure they are in good condition and safe.


Each dog must be exercised at least once daily as appropriate for its age and health.

No more than four dogs must be walked at the same time.

Prior written consent from owners must be obtained to:

  • Enable a dog to be walked outside the home environment / garden
  • Enable a dog to be let off the lead
  • Enable a dog to be walked with dogs other than those from its household
Higher StandardDogs must be exercised at least twice per day. Each dog must have a written daily exercise regime including lead exercise and free running in a secure area. There must be an alternative form of enrichment planned for dogs which cannot be exercised for veterinary reasons for the same periods of time.
4.3Dogs which on the advice of a veterinarian cannot be exercised must be provided with alternative forms of mental stimulation.This can include positive interaction with people and additional forms of toy and food enrichment and must take place at least twice a day
5.0Housing with, or apart from, other dogs
5.1Written consent must be obtained from the owner or owners (as the case may be) to keep dogs together in a designated room.

Each dog (or dogs from the same household) must still be allocated a designated room.

The licence holder must be able to separate dogs into different rooms should the need arise.

5.2Unneutered females must be prevented from mating.

In-season females must not be accepted for boarding with dogs from other households. Entire males must not be on the premises if an in-season female is boarded

5.3If any person aged under 16 years resides at the home, there must be procedures in place to regulate the interactions between the dogs and that person.

If children are in residence on the premises, there must be a procedure in place to safeguard the children and the dogs.

The licence holder is required to undertake an assessment of the risks of home boarding to include the risk to or caused by children who are likely to be at the property.

6.1The licence holder must keep a list of each animal kept, or trained, for exhibition with all the information necessary to identify that animal individually (including its common and scientific names) and must provide the local authority with a copy of the list and any change to it as soon as practicable after the change.

Any new types of animals acquired for exhibition that are not specified on the licence or where the number of a particular type of animal exceeds the number on the licence, must be notified in writing to the Local Authority. This should not result in an additional inspection unless the numbers are significant.

7.0Protection from pain, suffering, injury & disease

A register must be kept of all the dogs at the premises which must include:

  • a) the dates of each dog's arrival and departure;
  • b) each dog's name, age, sex, neuter status, microchip number and a description of it or its breed;
  • c) the number of any dogs from the same household;
  • d) a record of which dogs (if any) are from the same household;
  • e) the name, postal address, telephone number and email address of the owner of each dog and emergency contact details;
  • f) in relation to each dog, the name, postal address, telephone number and email address of a local contact in an emergency;
  • g) the name and contact details of the dog's normal veterinarian and details of any insurance relating to the dog;
  • h) details of each dog's relevant medical and behavioural history, including details of any treatment administered against parasites and restrictions on exercise;
  • i) details of the dog's diet and related requirements:
  • j) consent forms;
  • k) a record of the date or dates of each dog's most recent vaccination, worming and flea treatments;
  • l) details of any medical treatment each dog is receiving.
7.2When outside the premises, each dog must wear an identity tag which includes the licence holder's name and contact details


8.0Protection from pain, injury, suffering and disease
8.1Before a dog is admitted for boarding, all equipment to be used by or in relation to that dog must be cleaned and disinfected. 
8.2A preventative healthcare plan agreed with the veterinarian with whom the licence holder has registered under paragraph 9(8) of Schedule 2 must be implemented. 

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